Photo Week 2014 Panel 'State of the Industry'

Lesson 1/1 - Photo Week 2014 Panel 'State of the Industry'


Photo Week 2014 Panel 'State of the Industry'


Lesson Info

Photo Week 2014 Panel 'State of the Industry'

Hello internet voice did say that welcome two creative life photo weak I am sue bryce and I am your hostess this evening we have assembled this magnificent panel off wonderful people to talk about the state of out industry so I would like tio welcome me to foot a week been an amazing week it's going to continue to be an amazing wig of instructors and education and this is just a little bit of a chat about where we're at right now and I would like to hear from these wonderful people so I'll get them to introduce themselves to you andrew I'm andrew funderburg many of you know me I'm ceo fundy software started shooting weddings in two thousand two in japan and uh open shop funny software and o eight wonderful pita my name's peter hurley I am a shebang meister on a portrait photographer out in new york my specialties head shop photography it has been so hard for an educator living in los angeles, california and the director of marketing and relationships with flynn's part ago ah video rent...

al company based out of boston massachusetts my name is jason group and I'm the director of the fbi so the first question that I head to the panel is how important is it to be a part off the photo community? Peter I'm going to throw that one to you oh well I was thinking about this one I I basically was not part of the photo community for a really long time I had my blinders on, I was doing my own thing out of my studio. The only thing that I had as part of the photo community was pgn I lived on forty second street and the javits center was right down the street. I looked forward every year to going there, and it was there that I saw these teachers and all this stuff. So when this guy invited me last year to speak for the first time, it was like rite of passage for me, it was pretty major. Um, and since I've gotten involved, I've understood how I wish that I had the support that I have now then when I was learning and I was in the trenches and I have my blinders, I was in my studio afraid to show people what I was doing or how I did it or anything, and I didn't know who to ask for help. I didn't know that this resource was out there so tohave it is just it's become phenomenal for me. What about you being? How long have you been a business I've been based business for about seven years now I totally agree, I think it's super important part of the photo industry and the community of it on and I think for photographers who a little bit farther along it's really important to be an active part and welcoming in newcomers and kind of sharing your education with them because I know when I started I would throw questions to people who I didn't realize how busy they were, but I want to hear back just like him, and they think I'm an idiot now, but I think it's super important, even if it's like an automated, you know, just send it back and say like, hey, sorry, I can't answer your question don't have the time, but like best of luck, both from the industry kind of thing, can I expand on that question? Because I feel like also, though, that people get very lost in the industry, particularly online, comparing themselves to others, looking at other photographers that they seem or demons more successful than them and then feeling bad about themselves. I feel like we spend a little bit, maybe too much time focused on the industry and not enough time focused on it. I'm business and that's where I think you've got to turn the computer off and maybe ten back to your business a little bit more, jason, you know, those are all good points, but I think, you know, the core of, you know, being part of a community is you know, we all work in our businesses on a day to day basis where, you know, in battle doing what we do every day being part of a community and being part of something is something for us to be you know, for us to share our stories it's so fun to go someplace to a convention or a conference or whatever to be able to share your battle stories with just again and get it off your chest so I think part of being part of that community and being part of that you know, being able to share you know what you do every day where most of us are working in businesses that are, you know, one, two, maybe three people, so I think coming together as a group is really important as a way to kind of let things go that nothing's out so a really good thing for your own personal businesses while I know that in the new england area there's so many different forums uh there's a big one on facebook actually where photographers and filmmakers are on there on diff they get a job offer and they can't take it a wedding or something, they will post it on there, and they asked people who is available for this wedding, they'll send all the information along so as well as education learning it's also a great way to get some extra business to be able to assist people that you may not know kind of build yourself in community a little bit more. I feel like there's a basic common sense in business that a lot of people are not going to when it comes to running their own business, they're asking the dumbest questions in these groups and forms dumb questions, questions that really should be basic common scenes. And I wonder, are these people reaching out for support? Are they reaching out for validation, or are they reaching out because they genuinely need help? Because I know that when I started a business, you know, the internet didn't exist, so you didn't have that support system, but to ask the most silly christians that have really just come on, you need tio together to give us some pretty good common sense if you want to run a business, does anybody want to speak to that? I mean, I've got plenty of them questions like you do that when I started when I was a senior in high school in your book class, so I wasn't exactly very well cultured, educated that point. S o when I was emailing questions, I'm sure everyone how setting them two is like, is this guy serious right now? But I think that everyone has to get those questions out especially if they start young so I think it's super important and groups like that too not just kind of pass that off and let it blow by but to kind of encourage them along because even if it is a dumb question now in ten years it might be looking back on it be like yeah, that was done but I'm here now you know, that's kind of a generational thing to where you know, people who have grown up with the internet are not afraid to ask lots of questions all right, what do you think the ingredient is right now with the photographers that you are seeing that are successful? What do you think the successful what is the common three really between the photographers that are currently what you deem is making it right now in business and what do you think they've got all that they're doing that is making a difference in an industry I think from what I'm seeing the people that are successful in business are at their core good business people they've either they started as good business people and grew into photography or they were really good photographers and then realized early on that they need to be good business people to make it and they've spent you know they've done their homework red business books have done their research on how to run a successful business take sales classes, how to be a sales person, things like that on, and so they treat their business, uh, as a business for those parts, and then recognize when they're able to their art and make their art shine within their business and run it as such. Anybody asked to speak to that? The one thing that I, I think kind of separates people, is when photographers and filmmakers are now specializing in one topic and set of generalizing and saying, I do weddings, bid wires, baby portrait's, pet it's um, we have quite a few customers in the last few years have really narrow down exactly what it is that they're shooting, they can have a higher price point to it, they're happier because they're just shooting one thing. They're not editing a million other people photos, but I also think that that market that you're attracting is then very specific to that one thinks so. Getting the customers is maybe a little bit easier than going against everyone else who says that they shoot everything else as well, so that texting my next question is are people who specialize in one general more successful, so if you want to speak to just success in general and they one genre specific, the people that are becoming more successful, I am a glamour and beauty photographer I specialize in one thing I have for many years I never wanted to shoot anything else I see too many photographers photographing things they hate doing to make money because they don't believe they can make money any other way there is always a way to make money but doing something you hate is not the answer to your problems so I believe specific genre is more successful and I'd like to hear anybody talk about that if they feel differently I mean I completely agree with everything you guys are saying but add to that uh you know those if you should generalize you will find work and it will be easy for you to find that work so I think taking the route of being a specialist and finding that one thing that you're going to do is a much longer tell so it's going to take a lot longer for you to reach that point where you want to go whereas if you generalize and you could just getting lots of jobs here and then I'm sure you might be putting more money in your pocket but if you find that thing and you take that journey I think you know over the over the course of time that thing's gonna look like best instead of you know kind of like this so making that decision I think it is is really difficult one because you know at the end of the day we all have to put you know, food on our table, right? What way did promise I was going to say that way we're not going to say end of the day at the end of the day yeah it's becoming a little bit so I think that a lot of people probably watching and out there probably maybe they haven't charged yet for their photography there hobbyists that they're trying to figure out how to charge and I was one of them so I when I first started charging I did any time somebody said they would pay me for taking a picture I did it I was like, whatever it wass and as you go on kind of like what jason says it was like it was like for me it was obviously headshots kind of came into the into the fray like when I first started I did weddings I don't know how many have done may have done ten of them in my career, but I did him on dh then I did product photography, which I still do a little bit of and I shot kids, catalogs and stuff and I and I still kind of keep those clients everyone saw it, but I do like once or twice a year maybe I do a look book every every season for a kid's fashion tiger and every damn shooting hand shots but I had to figure that out but once I figured it out, I was like, whoa, this this is it. And then if you put all your attention on one thing, you're not going to be scatter brained and your work's going to get better in that department. I think the main thing to make people stand out is that when people go to your website and see your work, they can say that you took it there like they know it's got your stamp on it it's got your look whatever that look, maybe and I did the white background horizontal chopped head thing and every single everybody knew what they were gonna get. When they came to me, I would have actors come oh, my agent wants to shoot once, meet it wants you to shoot me outside and I was like, did you see any pictures of that outside on my website? And it wasn't there and I would say, look, there's, another photographer for that you have to have, you know, the guts to say it, but I did it and I stuck to it and it worked because of that niche that I grabbed a hold on and stuck with it. So if you confine your look and you can do one thing and you get paid well for it's, just rock that sucker all the ways for you can two years ago, after my marketing talk, it w p p I photographer came up to me and said that he was from a very, very small town. I think it was five thousand people, and he said, I have to photograph everything I photographed newborns and photograph babies, kids, families, you know, seniors, winnings, and he said in events, he said, I am that person that says, I photograph all of these things, and I said, well, you're in a small town. So when I actually talked about, um, I said to me, a small town photographer is the photographer that you made when you're pregnant, you have opportunity, shoot, he photographs your newborn, and then he photographs your children and family every year off your life until your daughter is a senior, and then she's a young woman, and then she's getting married, and then he photographs who witting and then they say in the speech, is, isn't it wonderful? That tiny is here? He photographed in you born photograph because you're in a small town, you should be no one is the town photographer, the family photographer, you should be the person that is marketing the relationship of being a photographer, not specific genre, but I feel like what is important is that you're photographing what you love and that you believe in what you love so if you love being all of those things then you will make it work if you don't often people get in their own way because they don't want to make it work because they really hate it in there struggling so that's really important may I mix question is with increased competition which I think is a very scarcity statement but I'm going to say it with increased competition in the marketplace what are the skills and I know you said you know to be good at business but what are the school skills right now that are really dominating and successful photography businesses? Is it about marketing? Is it about great photography? Is that great? Is it about great sales? Is it about great service speak to me? I mean not to discount the question but the question off, you know, with the amount of photographers, the competition I think that question has been age old with twenty five years ago, the competition was rising ten years ago, the competition was rising I think there's maybe there's an increased number of people that you're competing with but we're all competing really wants a at the end of the day again, um you know, really struggling really struggling um way we're all competing, so but if you're if you you're dialed into that one thing there could be tens of thousands of people competing for the same thing um we're all there's nobody against going to compete with you I don't believe so matching competition I don't I don't believe I'm competing I believe I'm servicing there's a really big difference all the energy and my business has always been what can I do for my client not her my competing with I don't look online and say she's competing with me and he's competing with me and she charges this match and he charges this much you're not my competition I don't care about you you're not paying me I care about the woman that's writing me a check because I have serviced here by giving her the best photographs that she could have asked for I feel like we get stuck in competition instead of service and service to may is one of the greatest things that you can actually give in a business service to ask your client where they want to produce it to follow through with it to deliver the product that you promised to receive money for it and then to get repeat clients from that person that would be my take on great business I totally agree with that there is one thing that I um I was training for the olympics and online in stanley went from sydney don't start with me I mean I'm gonna I'm an athlete when I say le e I I'm sorry I dated a sailor you do feel better oh I guess something anyway I went to sydney and really enjoyed myself they train for the atlanta on sydney olympics and when we were training it wasn't it wasn't for me it wasn't about the competition it was about it was about me I was competing with myself if I went out and had a bad day it was on me it wasn't on it wasn't about the people that I knew how good they were there was a pecking order you know there's probably like think about your competitors there's probably you probably feel like there's a pecking order or whatever if you're going to blast through that packing order when I started I was ranked thirtieth in the u s and I started in nobody thought you had to be number one to go to the olympics in a couple of years I've got I guess by the time I got up to being ranked seventeenth in the world and fourth in north america and I didn't get better this kind of goes back a lot of things in my brain go back to sailing like when you said you don't look at other people's work or something what you saying you don't like turn off the internet and figure out your work for yourself but I got to where I was copying the world champion and watching him and seeing how he moved in the boat and then when I got what the speed that he had then I then I started to make it my own and then it became so a lot of people copying my white background stuff go nuts I hope that they do I want them to be ableto get as good as they can with it and then you'll get to a spot where you make it your own and then it becomes your own and then it once it's your own its its creation it's not competition because you own it nobody can do what you do. Andrew camera p hegel busan since a wait did you hear that? I say you started your business and the worst year yeah, I have a tendency to do that that's the second time I've done that have it that playing uh awesome it went great actually in you know the when the market crash is the perfect time to start a business because everybody sucks and so it's a great time teo grab market and just get in there like everybody's having a horrible time so you step in there and and do it but um you know, it doesn't matter you know there's competition everywhere and it's not just photographers way have competitors in our industry has competitors like those competitors everywhere and one of the things that happens a lot in our office is one of the employees will say, oh, this competitors doing something, and I'm like, turn it off, don't don't show me, I don't want to see, because the moment you start looking at a competitive than you, you stop thinking like yourself, right? You start, you start trying tio look, a little things that someone else is doing to try to bring it into your own instead of just focusing on what you do and what you do best and, uh, continue with that, you know, one of my favorite quotes ever it is oscar wilde, is it be yourself everybody else has taken, but there's no reason to be somebody else. Uh, find this wallace wattles tio, if you're not, you're creating, if you'll compete, not creating, you can't compete and and create if you're competing, you're not creating creation is where you create everything and make everything so the state of creation is the greatest state you can actually be in the second you feel yourself in competition. I understand what you said about the world champion because I also I used to look at people on dh think, what do they have? How do they have that, and how are they doing that, and I don't think anybody does that better than tim fear it tim fears has this way of debunking some somebody this skill and tim ferriss challenges everybody in his book if you could teach me to master what you do in twenty eight days, what would that look like? And how would I do that? And he had this way of looking but it's very different to look at someone toe want to master something and let you see to be inspired, you know, athletically or competitively than it is to look at them and feel competition towards them, because that is putting yourself the second that you in subordinate to someone you're less than them the second you infatuated with someone you insubordinate yourself and straight away, you're suddenly not good enough and then all of your energy country not being good enough on that it's nothing to do with creation at all. I mean, I disagree. I think that it's there's a fine line between I'm not looking at other started for it and seeing what they're doing and kind of building that community toe to kind of brain storm together of what you could be doing separately on uniquely because, I mean, I talked with part of his all time I used to not I used to just be my own little island introvert, okay, but I used to just be my own little guy on guy want it really like trying collaborator, brainstorm or talk to anybody else about what they were doing. But once I started doing that, I realized that not only can I help them with things, but they can help me with things to on that doesn't mean that we're both going to kind of merge together and go in these path but it's like hey, this is my goal I want to get here and then you kind of brainstorm how I could get this way help them brainstorm how they could get this way and for you was that about more winnings per year or raising your winning prices or raising your sales like, what were your goals so right now actually have a google doc full of goals that I collaborate with a couple other people? Andi right now my goal is moving more into education, so doing stuff like this I'm trying to kind of funnel down on weddings a little bit and move more into teaching and mentoring and you hear me all right? So do you feel how important is it? That video is part of our future stills photographers I believe that youtube is I know you jib is the second largest search engine on the planet if you are not on there with your business, you are not competing in today's market that's what my talk is about on saturday I feel the behind this sean's thie ability to tell stories with video is the future sixty eight percent off teenagers are watching youtube by the television now it has become the new nick quick how important is it that you are learning video shooting video either behind the scenes in marketing using it in your business how important is it that you know it or outsource it? Well, I think, uh, that's an interesting question because when I first saw the question I I saw it as a photographer should be also be doing video for their clients like in a wedding day or something like that and I think that there was what was it like three or four years ago? It was like the big thing oh, you gotta learn to do video too, and everybody tried it and we could wake all the fusion way were horrible at it and so then we all stop six months later but, uh, the way you phrase the question uh, it's really important we use youtube all the time. I mean, way probably produced three or four screen shares and at least one video a week. We're always on their, uh and the bonus of throwing things on youtube is that, uh it's owned by google and it really helps us ceo it's frank yeah it's really nice, so uh yeah definitely end its it's necessary so I share a lot of video organically on to my facebook page and from the media in both organically meaning uploading straight to facebook the other day I should a creative life segment from youtube that has had a lot of ethic from one of the talks I did and I put it on my facebook page every six months I post this one video it's about my fear talk and my facebook jumped three thousand overnight so that means I I was I got ahead on an algorithm immediately and that came from youtube and google so you know it does significantly change your numbers and they say upload organically to facebook to get more hits but I get more traffic and one day from youtube um connection to my facebook page than anything else um shooting it outsourcing it I'm learning it you have tio figure out I mean I definitely played around with the whole fusion thing um and you know, a I kind of looked at it more from like the creative process of doing it so this was something for me was being a photographer for fifteen, twenty years being able to shoot video easily was just kind of a neat new challenge for me so I really enjoyed the creative process of doing video and I still I still enjoy shooting a film and so I think that's something that you enjoy the great greiner thaw well, it is I'm a dinosaur on dh that's and but the thing is that I do think that video is a bit of an advanced topic there are rules with video that same with photography that I think you need to learn, but yet they're saying, oh, my god, it's terrible. Um, I know, uh, politicians, if it works for you, great, if not, then if it's not something that jazz is you then go for shooted uploaded to youtube, I think we all agree that youtube is a in men's tool we all need to use it in our business. We all need to implement video in one way shape or form, and if you can't do it figure out, you know, the thing is that you might have caught if you can't the video slideshow, whatever is get on there, find a tool that works for you, create those videos. You know, I used to do these goofy videos where I did like the selfie videos with a point shoes, and I remember those and I would like intersperse than during the wedding day and then do a slide show that way and my clients loved it, but that was me that was my personality, you know, using it that way, so you know, you can't find really easy ways to shoot video but I think we all agree that it za really important tool for us to use this is kind of an eye opener for me because I'm horrible with I don't know anything about this like I'm bad and I have I can just see a ship bang channel coming out this week, but I did my first like ever like video blogger type thing with an iphone I did it with my iphone and it's got almost two million views the jaw line video and I did it with an iphone, so people start even if you don't know how to use a dslr that's got video capabilities like I I'm pretty closes in that department I actually got the creative cloud and I downloaded premiere today and I'm gonna try and find the time to figure that sucker out creative life program the way things should be this should be the title of unique creative life figuring your student somebody teaches e b the student I need is a premier is that what it's called you just called it that sucker okay, same thing sucker love this question because working with one's pretty go we're both on the photo in videos side of it and we're all photographers and filmmaker so we're working with customers that shoot both things, but kind of an eye opener for us is kind of as we all know it the single camera on it now has video capabilities and our phones doing gopro does now in the beginning it was pretty hard to see our photographers people that we know as customers get these cameras on go out and they're shooting a commercial for themselves they come back or like how to go in there like it absolutely soft and I think the big thing to understand is a lot of us coming into the industry and even though we may be generalized, we may not know exactly what it is that we like to shoot a lot of us are photographers or we are filmmakers there are people that come into this industry and say I am a filmmaker so if you're looking to get a commercial of your business done to put up on youtube or you're looking to have behind the scenes of your studio done, you're not confident in it there are people in the community who are thumbs up I'm all ready to go for that that's that's their job so I guess my big thing is don't feel pressured to get into video um I decided to kind of go in that route along with my boyfriend and we love it but we know that other people in our office it's just it's not their thing alright social media where do you think we're going, right? Where do you think we're going wrong wrong and the jealousy side and right in the sharing side um, point jason like that one? Um, no, I think it's a it's a great tool for obviously getting people to us, but also getting our information out there, whether that means it's just posting photos and kind of sharing inspiration or if that means I'm sharing education with fellow photographers, I think the hard part is seeing everyone else's highlight reel when we see the b roll of our lives, we see everyone else traveling and doing these often things through social media see them on like awesome sets and everything and then we're like, oh man, exactly one question people say it's my life really what it is on faith. Yeah on and that's why post photos of my cats? Because that's my life my friday night is like chillin with my cats s o I post this to show people might be rolled tio my instagram is basically photos of coffee and lunch that's basically what you eat is important oh food is highly important. Yes, I love food right around right and wrong what do you like, what you don't like? I'm kind of you know, weird space with social meeting because I I teach a lot now and I started teaching why I started my social media it was all geared towards the client and then I became a teacher and it became more photographers are responding me and paying attention to me and now it's so it's all towards that and I missed the client luckily I had enough marketing for my business that the clients come anyway but I think of a photographer out there is marketing properly like they should be absolutely getting in touch with their clients like I was so the tires before before client walks in the door for a session what fifteen minutes before you just shot out a tweet so psyched to be shooting blah blah blah today and then they walk in you take a couple pictures and you're like, hey don't you think we should throw this up on your facebook real quick? You know just throw it up there with your copyright on and all of sudden they're friends they're seeing and now you're marketing towards other clientele that air the friends of the people that if you're you know a portrait photographer and I don't I don't do that which I probably should look good it but you know I want to do that it's just that all my social media goes towards teaching so I'm in a in a quandary about that well, this is the interesting thing because I feel that everybody following used that's becoming photographers particularly when you are educating or speaking on platforms or a soon as she get up on stage you become this public sort of property in tim's off the industry, which means you start getting trolled also you get the negative and the positive so you get the following and then you get the shake down as well, which is really interesting because recently I published a photograph of a client on my business page and there was about thirty questions regarding how much he spent in rare around my claim romney anted wider all of these people want to know this and I said because the photographer so I educate so therefore they saw your post is an opportunity for me to educate them and my client wanted to know why people were asking on facebook how much she spent how many images did I take what she said? Why did they want to know? And so you definitely have this unfortunately you get the same, but they're also leaves you open for people to really troll view and tim's of criticize your work and for your client that's really hurtful. So what do you say to that? Because I feel like trolling and bullying is kind of rampant I try not to get too worried about it it does I call them drive by shootings they just come out of nowhere you don't get the number plate hits like how take a couple of bullets and the cheers boom boom always hits you when you least expected usually leaving a restaurant in new york after couple path of the wine you shot in the dark and it's frightening and it's painful and then you get over you cry for a couple of days, eat a pound cake wait, I think that's the you know, the negative side of social media and I think photographers in general are social people in general were kind of you know, we like being out there we like tio we like to share our pictures we like communicating with people um especially amongst our peers, we there's definitely a part of a lot of us that want to be recognized by our peers that just kind of ingrained who we are, so I think that the trick is to kind of avoid the negativity and so hard I'm sorry it's so easy to get wrapped up in the big negativity myself included and, you know, I think you need to remember that you know what you put out there is forever and, you know, of course you teach that to your kids I'm gonna have to teach that to my kids but it's so easy sometimes itjust feel like you just want to say something and you need to think about those things uh, it's really it's really easy to get wrapped up in that I don't know if you get this but I noticed I have a really ridiculously supportive community on my page two pro this site that I do, but any time I get negativity it's very rare but I don't sometimes I'll respond and sometimes I don't but the other photographers just jump behind don't they? You have so much support from the community that way no, you know we're covered one person will hit you but you know, three thousand people will lift you and three thousand people will defend you it's really? I love that about industry you really love that well that's the fun part is is that we are all very passionate about our industry we care I think a lot most photographers do is well they want they want the at the end of the day way when it's all said and done when it's all said everybody wants everyone to be successful on dh no they don't I think the end of the day everybody just wants to basic additional themselves I think people want other people to be successful tio but I think I think with social media to yeah I want to be first but then everybody else khun bacon bacon follow it's okay but now I think with social media it's, it's and it's not even it's not just retires I see restaurant owners going through the same issues and any any business that has a very public facing social media experience um, has the same problems I'm wondering what I'm wondering is is the for those of us of kids, uh, how muchmore immune, they're going to be to these problems than we are because they're just they're going to grow up with it. So it's just going to roll off their back, I think as they grow up because they're they're going to be used to it, right? There's like matt watch youtube and it's crazy? Well, the latest thing is, everybody is entitled to opinion and everybody has the right to say it. I mean, you don't want people to know, but that's your perspective, they don't often deliver their critique based on I'm being a jerk, and I'm going to hurt this person, you know, everybody has a different truth, it's very hard to stay, level and listen to the truth without being hurt. If it hits, you there's some truth in it, and if there's some truth in it to you, then you have to go away and deal with it. But, yeah, I feel like and there's a beautiful balance off support in equilibrium that always exists online and it's ok to leave, I just delete you have to lead comments and block people if they're not being constructive, or they're just being a good that's, right? Well, it's okay, it's okay, if there's a legitimate problem or something and I'll address that. But if you can tell somebody is just being a jerk to be a jerk, I just believed to comment, but often times I'll contact them privately through a message. I believe the comment was like, hey, you know, what's yeah, I'm a guy, you're a guy what's going on most of time, it does most of time, I think people just want to be listened to. They want to be heard, they will be seen and so it's, you know, and if they don't, if they don't respond to that, then it's okay to downside of social media's. The people who have the biggest voice in the most often cases are the people that are being negative, and it kind of takes that one negative comment tio get all the other voices going yet? Yeah, exactly. And you know, the positive people are the ones that are some upping things. It's really great to get all of those. But then when you get that one long paragraph, I think that it hurts you as a person but to see everyone come to your side and support you and that's that's really important that's, obviously the upside to social media I've got a big social media following across the board like I've really worked on it I work on it daily I enjoy it a love being part of it I'm a really big like er and supporter off images and other people coming on everything I can possibly come in on my fade I like to like and support as many images that has always done nothing but helped my social media I feel like I'm not helping anybody by not liking something if I like it I hit like and I want to write something beautiful they say you know it's easy to support the end of dog but when was the last time you supported somebody more successful than you and just wrote, you know, beautiful work and just be proud of the people that are doing really well and and then that somehow comes back to you I think that's really important, really good christian here the generation off film lasted for one hundred years digital a viable professional product after fifteen years and where is it going in the next eighty five? This is one thing I talked to my to my employees a lot is that, uh we were so short sighted way see, you know, six months, one year, maybe two years in the future and, um to really take a step back and say you know as far I mean digital digital cameras digital printing the products that we see on the walls and so we're we're just getting started uh I found uh my mother found my great grandfather's old brownie kodak camera uh and you know, it just sparked this is like it was you know, I looked it up was patented in like nineteen thirteen right it's still functions we could still take photos with it and to think of from nineteen thirteen two now one hundred years later what's what's happened you know, we're just getting started and it's a great opportunity to be you know, how often do you get to be right at the forefront of an industry you know it's it's, it's it's once in a hundred year chance and we've been given that chance we're at the beginning so uh I think it's uh it's a great opportunity to took a step back and see, you know, not only what we can contribute to our clients and our industry but what we can continue contribute to photography in general because of the internet now and the next hundred years everything we've done learned sid and recorded would be is whether we want it to be or not it's way any home movies circulation you know the first hundred years were film what I do find interesting now is like as a wedding photographer there was a full ten year period where I shot weddings like you know, nineties with the same camera with same film nothing changed it was this kind of routine obviously the weddings were different and the people were different, but now with technology changing so often I find it interesting. I think a challenge for any photographer now going forward is the challenge to adapt to new technology every couple of years we had the same camera for fifteen years and never changed it was saying lenses two bodies and all I did was clean them every once in a while and that was pretty rare in general a cz well, but now we have technology where if you don't change your cameras every couple of years and even that's not enough so I think that's a big challenge but it's exciting at the same time like there, you know, it just keeps getting better. I have is who is going to hold onto their five btu's or five d threes or whatever camera you are using now because at some point it will be considered vintage. It will be that brownie that you picked up, but I feel though it won't not when maybe well, I don't know all right from each of you, I would like to hear the answer teo, what is the advice that you would give young one standing in the industry and good in bed like what would be your advice and what would also you can tie them there's one or you can make it two separate answers but what would be your motivation tio stay strong and keep your business running and make it work and stay keep educating keep what would what would that message be and what would you be saying bin to the people right now that is saying is it with it? She like he'd stay in this you know I'm always I'm a jump first fear later kind of person so if I want to do something all like say yes before I think the logistics of that so usually that's a problem but it kind of works out in the long run but it means I jump into something and then I figure out exactly what I should be doing to make that happen um and I know I'm going to do it I just have to figure it out so I usually tell people that I know it's a scary thing whether it's like you're you have a safe job now and you want to start shooting full time um if it's what you want to be doing jump first quit the job and I guarantee you you will figure out how to make room you got to you have to I know that's a super scary thing probably bad advice for a lot of people well, but I think that's kind of what I what I've always done and what I usually pass along other people, can we speak just for a little bit at that? Why photographers that have been in business for two years, one of become educators and is that viable for a lot of photographers who don't even have a good financial business model to go and try and make an income? This this idea that educators make a lot more money than photographers did? I made more money, and I still make more money. It's, a photographer than I do, is an educator, but everyone says I want to do workshops I want to do workshops, I want to do workshops, and you're not even getting paid properly year you haven't even sustained a business model. Does anybody want to speak to that? Because I feel like that is it's actually, something that gets me so fired up that I would, you know, throw down over this fine like I like I get really fired up, I've done consultations and businesses that don't make money, and they just want to do workshops on creative life, and I'm like, you will get tourney apart, you know, you have to bring to the stage. Experience you have to bring to the stage knowledge experience and you also have to really bring the truth of what you in and what you make in order to teach other people to do it and I don't think you can stand up and say we'll never really made any money but I know how to work these three light and I've got a big following because I'm awesome makes me really angry so does anybody want to speak about that you just described kind of the good and the bad of social media again so the good part is well, good and bad that they can create this following but they also good part you're talking about you know all the people that are negative there is definitely a certain amount of policing that wasn't around ten years ago or whatever it was on the internet so on the bad side we don't like the negativity but at the same time there is some sort of protection from the internet we get that way um I personally don't have a problem with somebody teaching early if there's something very unique that they're doing but that's usually very foreign for you between in my opinion I think um I think there is you know, I don't know if it's whether it's workshop or speaking but I think there's something to be said for um someone for example maybe someone's in their fourth and fifth year and they're speaking very honestly about hey, this is this's at this stage I'm in my business and uh if you are in the same stage or if you're next year you're going to be in the same state this is what I'm learning this is what I'm going through to grow my business at this stage, which I think is important I don't know, you know? Is it important that you could do a three day workshop on it? No, but I think it's important that we recognize that there are you know there are levels and if you confined it's, I read this great booking and they talk about if you want to become a better tennis player, you need to play tennis with someone that's just a little bit better than you right and so it's that that person that's a couple steps ahead of you can often give you insights that maybe someone who has been in the business ten or fifteen years more than you because you know, you have someone that has so much experience is has kind of forgot the little details that it happened so long ago for us older people like jason and every time we can get it every single time I think I haven't been teaching that long I've been teaching about two years and I kind of fell into it um and I am amazed I just love it and yeah, it added to my income and everything, but I'm a better shooter today because I'm a teacher, I look for things that I never look for before I get inspired in my studio because somebody does something, and it just isn't happening for me it's happening because, like, oh, my gosh, wait, I'm gonna video you right now I got it teach this, you know? And I think it's amazing, but at the same time, like, I I was at a point my career I mean, I've shot ten thousand headshots, probably, and I couldn't imagine somebody who shot five hundred people going and trying to teach something that I've done so much more. So, um, I felt like I had something to say ten thousand dollars, ten thousand thousand dollars to mastery. I just want to respect the people who was speaking in my industry like I don't necessarily stand up and say you must respect me, but I know that I shot film for twelve years on a medium format hessel bled in a studio I know I retouched with a paint brush before finish out was invented. I'm not saying a digital photographer that never experienced that is is not as good as me, but I have a lifetime of experience to draw on that I feel gives me more credibility than somebody that's been around for two years that has no business model that just wants to get up on stage in this this idea of glory because there's a great responsibility also to the people that you're teaching and that's what I kind of yeah, and do your ten thousand hours place to your teen thousand dollars it's with that for yourself, a swell because you can get twenty pot the same media that builds you out can pull you down when they decide that your fraud with seen it with same people being built up in an industry and just ripped in half in tort apart by the same social media that actually made them stars. So we do have to be careful. Be careful about putting yourself up there. I want to know who was a standout photographer to you right now. Anybody that you love, that you're seeing that you're in inspired by anybody who's, would that you would just like to say, I'm following this person right now? Anybody want to speak out to that? Honestly, most of minor on instagram, and I wish I could remember names right now that I like I always just go through and I'll find someone just like doing their work is awesome and it's just like a constant feed of inspiration for me I also get like the food photos and the cat photos in there but every now and then I'll do it I'll just find someone new and adam in there and it's just it's a perfect inspiration your pocket but I think as faras working photographers I love jeremy cowart I think everybody loves me coward because he's a great human being he's killer it's social media he's a great guy before maybe he makes us think he's a great voice burial pain take and I think is a pain today is very honestly in his way then he experiments a lot too which I think is great I think a lot of people are afraid to kind of push that but he definitely pushes that I know it's part of what his style has become and I think that's a great thing he's coming on this week to fantastic great guy way not any single person but I'm uh I'm amazed at the quality of targeted that's being produced now you look at the print competitions dopp I uh fearless stuff that comes up and you know there's a lot of people from our generation who like tio you know not give credit to the younger generations for what they're doing but uh wedding photography portrait photography is so much better than it used to be when I got started the industry ten, twelve years ago I mean it's the amount the numbers of people producing quality work is amazing it's there so many more people producing so much better work that then was around when I got in the industry it's it's, it's incredible and there's so much great stuff to see it's it's so inspiring I think it's cool to see young people that break into the industry and really kick but like I think miller mobley is just rocking it right now and you know I just love his work and it's cool to see that he's taken it to another level this is no one name that I gotta get myself in trouble started stay out of trouble tonight I think you'd be oh, trouble so I think thanks, jason. Consider all right. A sentence of inspiration for the industry advice inspiration shortened sweep what have you got let's finished out with? If I could say one thing, it would be this at the end of the day. Come on, don't be p p I on watch creative life hey, my mind would definitely be try absolutely everything try tio photograph everything I went to a school where we did photograph everything we had the opportunity to at the end everyone kind of went the wedding route, so I I thought that was the route that I should go photographs one wedding my brother's wedding it was lovely photos were fine. They're great that thank you uh not my thing at all on that was kind of what I thought I was to do just because everyone else was doing I went back in the studio started doing tabletop photography and absolutely fell in love with it, so just try everything to see what it is that you really, really, really like if your best friend is wedding photographer that doesn't mean that you're a wedding photographer too. I think valuing uh community over competition I'm just super important because essentially competition just breaks you down and community build you up so it's kind of an easy choice I think I think that you have really have to do something that fires you up that makes you put that makes some burn in here I just get so sight when I see a picture that I took that I got that I can't believe I press the button and that went into my computer it makes me wanna cry almost it makes me yell shebang of course, but it makes me it drives me to tomorrow and if you're a portrait photographer, I always say get as many people in front if that's where your passion is, then get as many faces in front of your camera as you possibly can if you could shoot one person day it doesn't matter who it is it doesn't matter how much time you spent with them it's one person a day and you get to your ten thousand hours a lot quicker uh for me one of things that uh wasn't still with me in the young age is just too no matter what you do and what no matter what you love is too get better every day be better today than you were yesterday and and if if that's what you do you're going to be the best at what you do uh because very few people commit to that mine is there's enough to go around there's enough in this world for everybody value who you are value what you do so that you can get paid for it give great service and don't start reconnecting to that a thing that makes your cheese burn with excitement because I have been a photographer for twenty five years and you couldn't have stopped me I would have done anything it took to do this job I would have had a second job as their job I would have mopped floors I did mopped floors I would have done what it took because every day I got toe wake up and find that thing that just set me on fire and some days it doesn't and you can reconnect to it and don't be afraid of changing. If you're on the wrong path, because it's a road and it's a big jenny and just re empower yourself and value our industry, please value industry, because we had, like, what is it tied when the when the tide comes in, all the ships go up together, like we all empower each other as one collective industry. And I'm really proud to be part of my industry and to be a voice in it. So thank you so much for joining us and enjoy the rest of your further weak. I know I'll see you in the morning at nine am and enjoy your flight away.

Class Description

Join your favorite Photo Week instructors for an after-hours conversation about all things photography. You’ll get insights on emerging trends, straight-talk on challenges, and insights on the state of the industry.

Learn from a panel of experts – including master glamour photographer Sue Bryce, wedding photographer Ben Sasso, Director of WPPI Jason Groupp, Fundy Software founder Andrew Funderburg, and the Director of Marketing for LensProToGo, Meg Rodney. Hosted by Khara Plicanic.


Cigi Tipton

Even though this is two years old, there are still great points that are being made. It's free, so watch it!